Saturday, October 3, 2009

6th Doctor - The Apocalypse Element

Serial 7C/C – Dustbin Umpire II: The Apocalypse Elephant
The Apocalypse Elephant
An Alternate Programme Guide by Ewen Campion-Clarke
An Extract From The EC Unauthorized Programme Guide O' Pachyderms

Serial 7C/C – Dustbin Umpire II: The Apocalypse Elephant -

The Doctor has got bored and has programmed the TARDIS to materialize in his own future, where he fully expects to meet an older Sixth Doctor who has hopefully ditched Evelyn. He certainly refutes the idea that he might regenerate within the next two thousand years.

Skipping the time track, the TARDIS clips a Moaning Host time vessel and crashes into a conference centre on the planet Archaeopteryx, planet of the feathered pterodactyls. Emerging from the TARDIS, the Doctor and Evelyn are promptly arrested by Commander Vorny.

It appears that they have gate crashed a convention of twenty of the greatest powers in time and space as they are forced to suck up to the Time Lords and beg to be allowed to do something interesting.

At the last moment, CIA Coordinator Vansell enters and explains that the Doctor and Evelyn are, in fact, his valets. He does this in the hope that the Doctor might thank him and finally apologize for the offensive 'toast incident' perpetrated during their wacky college days.

The Doctor retorts that 'Toastrack' can kiss his ass and idly asks if the Bastard is still President of the Time Lords. Vansell explains that after an accident that turned the Bastard back into a sea lion, no one could take him seriously and he was forced to resign in shame.

Vansell then wonders why the hell the Doctor needs to know this and asks just why he has changed from the long-haired hippy in the frock coat back to this fashion nightmare.

Aghast that his current form is transitory, the Doctor takes out his rage on Evelyn and denounces her as a spy from the Tharil empire. Vorna drags the octogenarian, kicking and screaming to the delegates' day care centre.

Meanwhile, the conference organizer, Trinket, is worried that the sewage pumps positioned conveniently and rather stupidly beneath the conference centre are starting to play up. Delegates are already starting to complain about the smell, as does Evelyn as Vorna drags her past the office.

The smell has already caused the postponement of the conference as the delegates flee from the stink. The pressure in the tanks finally blow and the floor explodes, to reveal an army of gleaming Dustbins, armed and ready to clean down to the bone whatever they meet!

The Dustbins lock the delegates into a waiting room and then head to the car park to steal their time machines. They are then put out to discover the Moaning Host vessel isn't any bigger on the inside than the outside, and, worse, does not have wheelchair access.

Three Dustbins manage to fit inside the time ship and take off while the remainder spot the TARDIS and get very, very depressed. The Black Dustbin decides to hunt down the Doctor and kill him like a dog.

The Doctor, hearing this, runs for his life and tries to escape into the sewer system in a deep sea diving suit. However, the sewage has been consumed and the pipes are now teaming with millions of Dustbin mutants that immediately attack the Doctor, who promptly runs back out of the sewers, waving his hands and screaming.

The Black Dustbin informs the trapped delegates that they have cleaned and tidied the conference chamber and will now launch pre-emptive cleaning strikes on the delegates' home worlds! The people of Archaeopteryx will not be of any help; their leaders were cleaned to death long ago. It then wishes them a nice day and slaughters the lot of them to prevent them making more mess.

The Dustbins have returned to the barren planetoid Deathtrap Prime, where the vicious pachyderm the Apocalypse Elephant has been tamed by the evil metal mutants for their own naughty ends.

Back on Archaeopteryx, the advancing Dustbin brigade is crashed when a badly-piloted time capsule materializes on top of them. Contained within are Romana and K9, who have finally escaped E-Space where the Fourth Doctor dumped them centuries beforehand.

Knowing that Romana will kill him if he reveals his identity, the Doctor calls himself 'Maxil' and organizes a mass toilet flush to kill the mutants in the sewer.

In the confusion, the Doctor, Evelyn, Romana, K9 and Trinket escape in the Doctor's TARDIS while Vansell and the current president, Lockwood, have already fled Archaeopteryx from the Dustbins. Arriving on Gallifrey, they get an urgent phone message from the Moaning Host vessel asking to be allowed inside the transduction barriers.

"Are you sure you're not Dustbins?"


"Seems safe enough," says President Lockwood, making the second worst mistake of his entire term (the first being to actually stand for office). The Moaning Host ship lands on Gallifrey and the Dustbins immediately begin their invasion.

The huge galleries and chambers of the Time Lords are dusty with misuse and it is only this that delays the Dustbins long enough for Vansell to escape – Lockwood is immediately exterminated, never even realizing that he made a mistake.

The Dustbin fleet swarms over Gallifrey, slaughtering Time Lords and then tidying away their corpses. The TARDIS materializes and, after taking one look outside, the Doctor and Evelyn decide to head off to Hawaii instead.

The Dustbins have seized the TARDIS cradles, slaughtered all the guards they have come across and now have access to the Capitol and, thus, anywhere else on Gallifrey. In short, the Time Lords are immensely screwed.

K9 emerges and starts to zap the crap out of every Dustbin he sees. The Doctor's group escape past the Dustbins and meet up with Vansell, who is currently hiding in a cardboard box and using his trousers as a makeshift latrine.

The Dustbins shoot out the power lines, plunging the TARDIS cradles
into darkness – unfortunately, K9 can see infrared and Dustbins (who cannot see ANY sort of red) are stuffed as the robot dog blows up Dustbin after Dustbin in mad bloodlust fever.

Meanwhile, the Black Dustbin learns that the Apocalypse Elephant is now ready for use, and sends a soldier Dustbin on a suicide mission. It is to take the Elephant down to Archaeopteryx and release it. The Elephant's first sneeze CREATED the universe, and its farting will destroy it.

The gastric power of the Elephant will literally wipe the universe clean and the entire galaxy is now well and truly fucked.

The Doctor tells Romana to trust him – he may not be the Doctor, but he knows the Dustbins aren't so mindlessly stubborn they will annihilate themselves and everything else in their insane quest to clean up all time and space.

"I don't believe you're tough enough to pull the trigger!" the Doctor tells the Black Dustbin.

The Black Dustbin has the Elephant break wind, and first Archaeopteryx and the galaxy around it begin to turn sparkling clean. Countless lives are added to the already incalculable death toll every second and soon the universe will be scrubbed of all life.

The Doctor grins sheepishly and goes to stand in the corner.

Just then the Black Dustbin explains that it's had second thoughts and has realized it never got round to preparing something to actually STOP the Apocalypse Elephant smell. The Time Lords and the Dustbins must work together if they are ever to survive this story.

The Doctor awkwardly insists that he KNEW this would happen, but Evelyn slaps him and tells him to shut up or she'll reveal his true identity to Romana.

With a galaxy four times larger than the Milky Way is wiped clean - six hundred billion stars and an unimaginable number of lives have already been lost, but on the bright side said galaxy is now the most hygienic place anywhere, anytime.

It looks like only reversing the polarity of the neutron flow through the re-calibrated the 57 Chevy of Rassilon can cancel out the stink of the Apocalypse Elephant.

With moments to spare, Romana pulls the lever and releases a wave of grime that stops the cleaning wave and also wipes out the Dustbin invaders on Gallifrey.

The Doctor begins to take the piss out of the dying Black Dustbin, but it refuses to accept this reality and substitutes one of its own and dies happily.

The Doctor and Evelyn quickly flee Gallifrey before Romana can think to ask what "Maxil" is doing with the Doctor's TARDIS. Vansell reveals the truth afterwards, and once Romana is absolutely furious he suggests she can become new President of Gallifrey.

The Sixth Doctor may be safe, but the current Eighth Doctor is now well-and-truly screwed...

Book(s)/Other Related -
Doctor Mysterio Ia Elephantisis Doomsday
Wind-breaking That Changed The World
Misadventures In E-Space – The Missing Adventures of Romana & K9

Goofs -
Whilst describing the cost of destruction of the Seriphean Galaxy, the Doctor expresses its area (i.e. distance not volume) in 'apples'.

Technobabble -
Romana wants to "shove an epsilon reticular gauge where the Doctor's flux comparitor doesn't shine".

Links and References –
The Doctor found it difficult to believe Evelyn survived the events of The Inspector of Lanyon Moor. The fact she survived fifteen separate Dustbin attacks, a falling ceiling, an exploding sewer and the Apocalypse Elephant itself he finds completely implausible.

Untelevised Misadventures -
A future incarnation of the Doctor was stupid enough to give the Dustbins the key to discovering the Apocalypse Elephant in return for some exercise videos (a reference to "The Jazzercise Machine").

Groovy DVD Extras -
A cut scene where, after being told how well the invasion is going, the Black Dustbin is compelled to sing the chorus from "Something's Gotta Give" by the John Butler Trio.

Followed by another cut scene where the Black Dustbin realizes the Apocalypse Element will destroy everything, and immediately begins singing 'Oh, Well (part one)' by Fleetwood Mac.

Dialogue Disasters -

Black Dustbin: SHIT.

Vansell: For a slight girl Vorna, you pack quite a wallop.
Vorna: I'm way out of your league.
Vansell: I am a Lord of Time! YOU are the one out of MY league.
Vorna: Whatever. Bye.
(Vorna goes. Vansell begins to sob.)
Vansell: Why do I *always* do that?? WHY?

Doctor: No thank you, I've heard the audio – it's whacked!

Evelyn: Ooh, aren't you an interesting color?
Trinket: Oh, blast off you old buggeration!
Evelyn: How dare you swear like that! Why does everyone have to swear in these fucking shitting wanking frigging plays?

Dialogue Triumphs -

A chilling insight into the Dustbin mind -
Doctor: So? Why are you telling us? If resistance is useless, why do you care if we fight you or not!

Vansell: Complacency - the middle name of most Time Lords.
Doctor: Yeah, I blame my mother for that one.

Romana: A time machine! Oh, to travel again - to open a door and not know what lay on the other side.
Evelyn: Oh, that's easy. I get it all the time. All you need is a total lack of direction and senile dementia. Have I just said that?

Vorna: Is that space-minutes, or good old-fashioned Earth minutes?
Vansell: Look, my sexual capacity is not in question!
Doctor: Yes, whatever you say. Toast Rack.
Vansell: SHUT UP, DOCTOR!!
Romana: Doctor? Did you say, 'Doctor'?
Doctor: Uh, no. Well, yes. He meant 'Proctor'. As in 'Proctologist'. But not THE Doctor. Oh no. Not at all. I mean... If I'm the Doctor than my name isn't Maxil!
Evelyn: That makes sense.
Doctor: Don't make me get violent, Evelyn.

Doctor: Now I've seen everything: a Dustbin silly mid-off.
Evelyn: Have you seen a man eat his own head?
Doctor: Uh, no.
Evelyn: Well, you haven't seen EVERYTHING, have you??

Doctor: Dustbins... will I ever be rid of them?
Vansell: Hey, YOU'RE the one who didn't wipe them out when you had the chance, buster so don't you come crying to me!
Doctor: Oh, shut up, Toast Rack!
Vansell: Make me, fatso!

Doctor: The very essence of putrescence!
Romana: Dirt from cleaning products! Grime wins! Hey! Do you hear that, Dustbin? Grime wins!

Viewer Quotes -

"It's an innocent-seeming silver disc. But put it in your stereo and it just sits there... making noise at you. DEMONS! DEMONIC EVIL!!"
- Luddite Yearly (Hand-Written 2002)

"It was with a great deal of anticipation then, I awaited The Apocalypse Elephant and the Sixth Doctor, with his disgustingly decrepit new companion Evelyn, to meet the metal monsters of Fargo. Oh, boy was I suckered. Apparently, the Dustbins tidying Gallifrey is every fan's fantasy. WELL, NOT MINE, BUSTER! You morons at Big Finish just couldn't handle MY fantasies! Three India Fisher clones and a bowl of chocolate pudding the size of Neptune on a bed of burning bank notes – and that's BEFORE the Tambourinist from The Dandy Warhols turns up!"
- Nigel Verkoff (2002)

"This one was really just a disappointment on every level. An all-out Dustbin attack on Gallifrey. The forces of evil very nearly win. An older, wearier Romana's return. Dustbins radiating pure undiluted evil. As Tintin stories go, this sucked."
- A confused correspondent from "Never Pleased Gazette" (2001)

"This production didn't just have any one massive flaw, but it also boasted a fair number of minor flaws that, in the end, left me rather unimpressed. Worst of all is the fact that... well... this exists!"
- Andrew Beeblebrox (2003)

"Dustbins, Gallifrey, action, noise. Lots of noise. Lots and lots of NOISE! NOISE! NOISE! TOO... MUCH... NOISE!!! ARGH!!! Staser blasts, Dustbins screaming, Dustbins firing, general shrieking noises, CRASH, BANG, WALLOP! WHY WON'T THAT DAMN BLACK DUSTBIN SHUT THE HELL UP??!?! MORE NOISE! TOO MUCH NOISE!! MY FUCKING EARS! THEY'RE BLEEDING!"
- Big Finish Sound Designer Gareth Jenkins (2000)

Psychotic Nostalgia -
"After this story, I made sure every elephant I passed, I shoved a cork into. OK, I'm now barred from every zoo on the planet and ivory hunters are out to get me, but it was worth it. Doctor Who showed me the way."

Colin Baker Speaks!
"I think they have almost single-handedly lifted the whole Doctor Who project onto a new dimension an enabled it to keep it going. I am lost in admiration for their ability to find writers who can write consistently high-quality stories. I cannot think of a single story that is a notch below the rest of the canon. Big Finish, however, are a right load of morons and believe me, it is only for vast sums of money that I do that. You ever hear The Apocalypse Elephant? What a load of bollocks that was, eh?"

Rumors & Facts -

Colin Brake was originally the author of the Sixth Doctor segment of Dustbin Umpire, when unfortunately he got a life. Gay Russell searched desperately for a replacement, deliberately ignoring the one person willing to take the assignment.

That man was Stephen Cole, who had ready a submission entitled Acropolis – featuring the Sixth Doctor, Peri and Sil landing on the planet Kipple to find a fat farm being run by amoral sadists, and the amoral sadists unknowingly working for the Dustbins. The crux of the idea was to create a bleach so powerful it scoured reality itself.

Russell smiled politely and said 'No.'

Cole was an optimist however, and re-submitted the story no less than seventeen times under a variety of names including – The Forever Cleaner, The Cleaner Element, The Endless Clean, The Pure Clean, The Sparkle Potential, The Final Scrub, The Space Cleaner, The Acropolis Antelope, The Acropolis Elephant, The Cleaning Element, The Long Scrub, The Long Clean, The Dark Acropolis, The Bleach Gambit, The Cleaning Frenzy, The Broken Brush and finally The Apocalypse Elephant.

Russell suddenly decided to accept Cole's storyline, presumably for fear he might create another Nicholas Briggs-type lunatic if he kept rejecting Cole's Dustbins stories.

Russell agreed to do the story as the eleventh Big Finish release on the condition that his latest shopping list of story ideas be shoe-horned into the narrative.

These included the return of President Lockwood, Coordinator Vansell and Captain Redbeard from The Tarrants of Time; the return of Romana and K9; the idea of placing the Sixth Doctor in the Eighth Doctor's time zone; replacing Peri and Sil with Evelyn Smythe; giving the Black Dustbin musical interludes in lieu of character development; the main crux of the story moving from the planet Kipple to Gallifrey and featuring an all-out war between the Time Lords and the Dustbins that lasted slightly longer than two minutes before the former simply wiped the latter from the face of time and got on with their tea. There was also to be ludicrous amount of continuity references to The Jazzercise Machine, The Maid Marian Conspiracy, The Inspector of Lanyon Moor, The Webber's Gate, Death Comes To Tom, The Invasion of Tim and foreshadowing to The Mutant Phrase.

Faced with such a list, Cole reasonably told Russell to fuck off and ran away sobbing uncontrollably.

But it was a trap!

Russell's plan had succeeded and he was now in the position to write the audio adventure he'd wanted to write since he was old enough to make coherent critiques of Paris Sucks. This story would be the Doctor Who version of Die Harder: With A Vengeance, and finally give the fans what they'd always wanted – complete Dustbin mayhem and carnage with more continuity reference than you could poke a stick at.

Work began on the story right away, despite a few obstacles like Lalla Ward refusing to appear until it was made quite clear that Colin Baker was another person entirely and not simply Tom Baker under a cunning pseudonym. This prompted Colin Baker to flee, and thus Athony Keetch was forced to play the Doctor for most of the story. Nicholas Briggs offered his services, only to be chloroformed yet again.

When it was released, "The Apileofcrap Excrement" as critics dubbed it, was not a success. Doctor Who Magazine damned it, while Dreamwatch gave away free copies 'for the good of Mankind'. Indeed, this story would no doubt have been considered the worse Big Finish production ever if it weren't for a stroke of luck.

Big Finish were using a different CD production company this week and the latest was particularly incompetent and faulty. Most disks refused to play and many others were missing. Thus, there is a large percentage of fans who do not mind The Apocalypse Elephant simply because they haven't heard it and refuse anything could be THAT bad.

Big Finish now regularly use said CD company on the off-chance their latest offering could be absolute shite.

However, this story and its reactions re-defined the way Big Finish worked and Gay Russell thought. He decided that, if giving the fans what they wanted was the worst possible course of action, he would therefore deprive them of anything they DID like.

It was only budgetary restraints and a difficult legal battle that stopped him getting rid of the Doctors, companions and TARDIS immediately and replacing them with Quirks – much to the disappointment of the Creator of the Quirks, who had been looking forward to it.

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